2nd International Conference on Complications in Neurosurgery (ICCN) 25 – 27 January 2019 Hotel J W Marriott, Sahar International Airport, Mumbai

The conference theme was to discuss various aspects of complications (anticipation/prevention and management) encountered by participating neurosurgeons in different sub-specialties of neurosurgery.

The meeting was organized under the aegis of the Mumbai Institute of Neurosciences, a Trust founded by Prof. Dr. Keki Turel, and co-sponsored by WFNS, and a host of International Societies. The leaders were Prof. Keki Turel (Chair of the WFNS Committee on Complications in Neurosurgery), Dr. Smita Sharma (Organizing Secretary), and Dr. Nirav Mehta (Scientific Chair) assisted by Drs. Sarkar, Athawale & Chawda.

The Event Management was done by VAMA Events. Medical and surgical companies sponsored the scientific program, and also supported the participation of several young Indian neurosurgeons from their educational grants.

A total of 17 sessions were held, each focusing on a specific sub-specialty of neurosurgery.

This meeting was attended by approximately 330 delegates. These included neurosurgeons from India, and about 100 from 31 countries across the globe: Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sudan, Turkey, UK, USA, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, the Chair of the WFNS Education Committee, Prof. Isabelle Germano, and the WFNS President, Prof. Franco Servadei, were unable to participate as after their check-in at the airport they were told that their travel documents were not valid.

As a part of this meeting, the WFNS Education Committee, under the leadership of Isabelle Germano, organized a two-hour symposium on complications on 25th January. Speakers chosen were from the Education Committee. The initial 2 days, and a part of the 3rd day, dwelt on complications pertaining to the brain, and the last day on the spine. A total of 189 presentations, each discussing a specific complication, were delivered by the delegates and faculty. Most presentations were given 5-7 minutes, and a few had 10 minutes. It was mandated that delegates presented complications encountered by them/their team, and lessons learnt. Each session had 2-3 panelists and a Moderator who ensured maximum learning was extracted from each presentation. A 30-minute Keynote Address “How complications influenced my neurosurgical strategies” was delivered by Prof. Madjid Samii.

We also had special 14 minutes talks on Ethics, Philosophy, Moral Obligations, and Legal Implications - and an hour-long tête-à-tête with a heroic pilot, Mr. Rustom Palia, who saved a non-stop 15-hour Delhi-JFK flight AI101 Boeing 777 with 330 passengers on board from a certain crash following a disastrous combination of multi instrument failure (ILS), bad weather, and low fuel. We discussed the safety standards, precautions, check lists, and preparedness - and finally what helped them avert/overcome a near death crisis. This had direct bearing with such dramatic circumstances sometimes encountered by neurosurgeons, and highlighted the mental agility, sound judgement, and quick reflexes such a situation demands.

Social events: The 2nd ICCN was inaugurated on the evening of 25th Jan, 2019 by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of the Art of Living (AOL), and a renowned spiritual guru who has 370 million followers spread over 156 countries. He eulogized the importance of Meditation, and conducted a mass demonstration of Meditation during the inaugural ceremony. One of the highlights of the evening was the “Intuition Program” wherein young students, having undergone sessions in meditation, were brought on stage, and blindfolded. They could read any text in any language by scrolling their fingers on the text, identify colours, forms and shapes etc. This is Gurudev’s own unique discovery, which is now the subject of investigation and research that will be conducted by Dr. Turel using modern imaging technology. An MOU to that effect was signed in the presence of Gurudev on stage, and in public view.

Earlier on, delegates were urged to enrol in a course on “Meditation” for a nominal fee from 6 to 7.30 a.m. conducted by AOL on the 3 days of the Conference. This was attended by a good number of Indian and foreign delegates and spouses. 26th January was Republic Day of India and we had an official flag hoisting ceremony at 7.15 a.m. by none other than Sri Sri Ravi Shankar himself, and Chairman, Dr. Turel. In the evening, a special orchestra of visually disabled musicians, and Malkhamb (Indian pole gymnast) performed. At the end, amidst a riot of colours and lights, a dance performance by 20 young and vibrant artistes enthralled the audience, most of whom stepped on the floor to dance at the end of the performance with the artistes. At both evenings, a variety of cocktails and sumptuous Indian dishes were laid out for dinner. On the 26th evening, in the hour between the scientific and the cultural programs, we had our WFNS Complications International Committee meeting for the first time ever with members from all over the world. It was co-chaired by Prof. Madjid Samii. We had invited bids for holding the 3rd ICCN outside India in an attempt to truly globalise the event. 28 out of 30 International members voted for the 3rd ICCN to be conducted once again by Prof. Turel, as Prof. Samii put it, “it will be hard to match Dr. Turel’s passion and energy in highlighting this unique concept of discussing Complications and organising and running this event so successfully”. Other issues discussed at this Board meeting have been recorded in the minutes - and will be circulated, documented, and acted upon in the near future.

Last but not the least, Prof. Turel also held his own solo Wild Life Photography exhibition in the spacious adjacent Junior Ballroom of the Hotel, the walls of which were adorned by nearly 150 photographs shot by him in recent times during his travels through Africa and India. The exhibition was inaugurated, during the lunch break of 25th, by Mr. Jatin Pandit, a celebrated Bollywood Music Director, and friend of Dr. Turel.

Summing up, the 2nd ICCN event was a huge success both educationally, socially, and from the overall organisational point of view.

August 2022